Our Privacy Statement & Cookie Policy

By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies, revised Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can change your cookie settings through your browser.

I agree

Experts hail 'win-win' collaboration in China-Europe solar industries


A view of solar panels installed in Copenhagen, Denmark. /CFP
A view of solar panels installed in Copenhagen, Denmark. /CFP

A view of solar panels installed in Copenhagen, Denmark. /CFP

Cooperation between Chinese and European solar industries is a "win-win" situation, said experts and business representatives from the photovoltaic (PV) industry during the recently concluded Intersolar Europe exhibition, the largest and most influential PV industry event in Europe.

Approximately 3,000 exhibitors showcased their latest products and solutions in areas such as PV modules, energy storage systems, and charging infrastructure. The exhibition, held alongside three other trade fairs from June 19 to June 21 in Munich, Germany, focused on energy transition, attracting around 111,000 trade visitors from across the globe.

Markus Elsaesser, founder and CEO of the exhibition organizer German Solar Promotion GmbH, noted that 976 Chinese exhibitors participated in this year's event, making China the largest participant for the first time since the exhibition's inception, followed by Germany with 934 exhibitors.

Innovative green booster 

Besides inverters and energy storage systems, solar panels are a main component of PV products and comprise numerous solar cell units, the core component converting light energy into electricity.

At the exhibition, Chinese company LONGI Green Energy Technology Co., Ltd. (LONGI) announced it had broken a record by raising the photoelectric conversion efficiency of its commercial-sized silicon-perovskite tandem solar cells to 30.1 percent, and is expected to own the technical ability for mass production in the next few years.

The technical breakthrough by LONGI epitomizes China's innovative advancements in the solar industry.

Elsaesser said he has seen numerous innovations at the exhibition every year, which have benefited the decarbonization of the industry and society in Europe and the world. "And that was very much driven by Chinese manufacturers, as their global market share is very high," he added.

According to the latest report on the global market outlook in the PV industry released by SolarPower Europe, an association for the European PV sector, Germany installed 15 GW of new PV capacity in 2023, increasing more than 100 percent year-on-year and ranking fourth in terms of new-added capacity globally.

European countries including Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands also recorded growth and were listed among the top 10 PV markets in 2023. As of last year, 14 of the 31 countries with a total PV installed capacity exceeding 1 GW are in the European Union.

Given an unprecedented scale of growth in the PV industry, "it needs to be highlighted that most of this global market expansion was driven by and in China," said the report. "Without China's strong solar investments in deployment, the solar sector's growth would have been much more modest," it added.

At the exhibition booth of Chinese company JA Solar Technology Co., Ltd. (JA Solar), solar panels of various powers and sizes attracted visitors and trade partners. According to the booth staff, these PV products by this company have been used in most European countries, covering a wide range of application scenarios from private houses to large factories and supermarkets.

Zhu Daocheng, vice president of JA Solar, said that based on the overall agenda of the global energy transition, the Chinese PV industry will play an increasingly important role in the European renewable energy market.

"I am confident that, together with other Chinese companies, we could continue to perform well in the European solar market," he said.

Win-win cooperation

Elsaesser views the cooperation between Chinese and European solar industries as a "win-win" situation.

While noting China has built up a complete value chain in its PV industry from the raw materials to the final products on a big scale, he said the country has helped Europe and even the world to get the competitive products they need for green transition goals.

Chinese companies can also deepen their business in Europe through further cooperation like local production. "Therefore, I think it is good to have cooperation and not to raise any barriers between countries and regions," Elsaesser added.

In the view of Qu Shuaiyuan, CEO of the Beny New Energy GmbH headquartered in China, a number of European countries like Germany, France and Spain are blessed with plenty of sunshine and have huge demands and potential for solar power utilization given the large number of single-family houses in these countries. The company has expanded its market in Europe through deepening cooperation with business partners in these countries to provide solar systems and solutions for balconies and roofs of local houses.

According to reports released this week by the German Solar Association, more than 60 percent of private house owners in Germany have shown interest in investing in a solar power system. The association noted that the PV industry in Germany is experiencing a special economic boom in the area of residential solar power, as well as "a small energy revolution on domestic balconies."

"Although this kind of distributed solar device in a single family can generate limited power, the cumulative volume of countless families in Europe is considerable," said Qu.

German company Axitec Energy is a leading solar module provider in Europe. It has cooperated with Chinese manufacturers for years by producing PV products in China and serving the European continent.

Cristina Lovato, marketing manager at Axitec Energy, said that with its value chain advantages, China's PV industry has helped promote green transition in Europe.

Dennis She, vice president of LONGI, said during the exhibition that he is optimistic about the continued participation and contribution of Chinese companies in the European renewable energy market through cooperation.

"Europe is committed to achieving the goal of energy transition, and related Chinese companies, with their expertise and experience, could provide high-quality PV solutions for Europe and help boost its renewable energy development through international cooperation and joint efforts," She said.

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency
Search Trends